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Navigating the Great Divide:
Don't Get Lost in Anger

By: Katie Backa

These days, there's no shortage of things driving a deep wedge between all of us…

Social media outlets have gone from being a place to share cute pictures, awesome catches, and Samuel L. Jackson memes, to a keyboard battleground fraught with anger, fear, and hate.

Everywhere you turn, there’s a seemingly endless sea of sickness, death, social injustice, political corruption, racial inequality, and civil unrest.

Every day brings new challenges to our previously mundane lives – we’re not only separated from one another – we’re separated from our sense of security.

From the familiar.

From the known.

All that negativity and anger is creating a toxic atmosphere where rather than lifting each other up, we’re tearing each other apart.

We’re assigning unnecessary labels…

If you’re not with US, you’re with THEM.

Believe in THIS, and you’re against THAT.

The veil has been lifted, Pandora’s box has been opened, and it’s entirely too easy to get lost in the divide.

And unfortunately, that vitriol has a way of bleeding over onto the water…

It snakes its way into the heart and mind, clouding your thoughts, and distracting you from the here and now.

The “what ifs?” have a way of building on top of each other, and before you know it, instead of enjoying a beautiful day out on the water or fishing your heart out in a tournament, you’re tumbling down a rabbit hole of anxiety…

Then you miss a bite.

Then you lose one at the boat.

Then you break off a monster.

Screw chasing a limit – now you’re struggling just to get ONE on the board…

Then you begin to doubt your presentation…

“Maybe it should be a different color? Or weightless? Or dipped? Or a craw? No, maybe a worm??”

*Cue panic attack*

Before you know it, the end of the day is here, and you’ve got little to nothing to show for it.

You huff, puff, pack up and head home, and check all the notifications on your phone when you get there…

As you scroll through your newsfeed, you start to come across pictures from everyone else who DID catch a limit that day, along with a slew of angry rants, baseless conspiracy theories, sad pictures of what everyone’s missing out on, and of course, the tragedy du jour.

By the time the leaderboard turns back on??

You’re so overwhelmed and overloaded on nonsense, that you find yourself getting irritated at anyone who finished better than you did.

You shift from feeling bummed and crummy, to suddenly feeling like you’ve been cheated – wronged – shortchanged – and that if that [insert excuse here] hadn’t have gone wrong, you could have won…

Then you go on a social media binge, and jump at the first argument you come across, just to take your frustrations out on someone who didn’t deserve it, over something you couldn’t care less about on a normal day…

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Prior to the madness that is 2020, notifications on your phone were usually a good thing – but now they’re only fanning the flames.

So today, I want to challenge you to consider what you actually *NEED* to be looking at every day…


You can shut those notifications off.

You can unsubscribe.

You can unfollow.

You can snooze.

You can unfriend.

And you DO NOT need to feel bad about doing any of it.

Social media feeds are populated based on algorithms – and the more you interact with certain topics, the more of it they’ll show you.

Have you noticed that you’re constantly arguing about politics? Masks? Schools? Dr. Fauci? Money?

That’s because you keep interacting with those types of posts.

Stop it.

If you open up Facebook, you’ll notice on every little box in your newsfeed, there’s 3 little dots on the top righthand corner – click it, and a menu of options will pop up – which includes stuff like “Hide post: see fewer posts like this”, and an option to snooze someone for 30 days – which is perfect for friends that are normally sane, but have seemingly (and hopefully temporarily) gotten sucked into the vortex…

Start interacting with more fishing-related posts, more videos of animals doing hilariously adorable stuff, more articles about how to build something, more pictures of tasty food, more wholesome goodness, and more content that feeds your soul…

Or maybe?

Just consider putting your phone down more often…

Because chances are, you’re allowing it to become more and more permanently attached to your face by the minute.

But believe it or not??

This too shall pass.

And as far gone as it all seems, we can find our way back.

Just don’t get lost in anger along the way – because hate is easy.

Kindness, forgiveness, and love are hard.

But they are ALWAYS worth the effort.

And once you start setting down all that heavy anger, you’ll realize that it starts getting easier to breathe…

Easier to smile.

Easier to be a kind human.

And easier to land those tricky green fish…


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